Alternative Treatments for Insomnia

Are you experiencing inadequate or poor-quality sleep caused by a difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep, as well as waking up too early?

Do you feel restless, unrefreshed and even tired upon waking up in the morning?

If so, you may have insomnia. Following are several “alternative therapies” for insomnia that you can use to get the necessary sleep you crave.

Through the years, treating insomnia with home cures or natural approaches has proven effective with many sufferers.

Western medicine does not consider these “cures” as scientific. Yet, many of these non-medicinal approaches have succeeded in eliminating, if not alleviating, sleep disorders.

Here are some of the most popular as revealed in “The Cure for Insomnia” ebook available at http://www.isolatedinsomniacs.com/insomnia.html

* Home Remedies

For over thousands of years, many popular remedies have been used to cure insomnia. Although unscientific and sometimes questionable and harmful, some of these attempts do produce effective solutions to some patients.

Some home remedies involve behavioral approaches, such as taking a half-hour exercise in the afternoon, taking a warm bath at night, drinking warm milk before retiring for bed, avoiding stimulating activities at night, getting up and going to bed at reasonable hours.

Tryptophan is a natural sedative and warm milk contains high levels of it. Some oils such as lavender oil, and herbs such as chamomile, hops, and passion-flower, also promote restfulness.

* Traditional Chinese Medicine

For thousands of years, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have been using a variety of approaches to insomnia treatment. These include the use of herbs, acupuncture, and dietary and lifestyle management. It is believed these techniques rebalance the body’s energies that help solve the problem.

* Acupuncture

Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that helps sleep. The ancient Chinese treatment of acupuncture stimulates the production of serotonin.

With acupuncture, small sterile needles are inserted into specific points in the body. It has proven to have a calming effect on the nervous system and alleviates the imbalances that cause insomnia.

Acupuncture is known to have no harmful side effects. Acupuncture not only improves sleep. Many patients also experience overall improvement in their health and energy level as well as a greater sense of general well-being.

* Massage

Massage involves gentle physical stimulation techniques on tissues that enhance relaxation and improve sleep patterns.

The skin is the largest sensory organ of the body, and massage stimulates the release of endorphins, sometimes called “feel good” hormones. Although it typically takes 15 minutes or longer to produce results, the relaxing and “feel good” effects of massage can last up to 48 hours for better quality sleep.

In addition to improving sleep quality, massage also reduces anxiety, creates a more stable mood, and increases one’s mental capacity.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to induce sleep is to rub some warm essential oils on the scalp and the soles of the feet before going to bed.

There are many kinds of oils, but the ones most commonly used are sesame oil, brahmi oil, jasmine oil, cow’s ghee or jatamatnsi oil.

* Behavioral Approaches

Relaxation and restful sleep are most often achieved through a number of behavioral methods. These are known to be very effective in cases of primary chronic insomnia.

Behavioral methods act faster and are used with insomnia sufferers of any age group. Among the behavioral methods that are commonly used are:

* Stimulus control

The bed is only for sleeping and/or sex. This idea serves as the stimulus that controls when you go to bed. It is the standard treatment for primary chronic insomnia and may also be considered for curing secondary insomnia as well. The primary goal of stimulus control is to regain the idea that the bed is for sleeping.

The basic rules to follow are to avoid naps, going to bed only when ready, getting up and doing something if unable to sleep in 20 minutes, and adhering to a regular wake-up time regardless of the number of hours slept.

* Progressive muscle relaxation

This may be used for older patients and some patients who have secondary insomnia associated with a medical or psychiatric condition. It helps induce sleep, but its effectiveness during daytime functioning is not yet clear.

This technique involves sequentially focusing on a muscle group (e.g., starting with muscles in one foot), inhaling and tensing the muscle group for eight seconds until mildly painful, then exhaling and relaxing the muscle for 15 seconds. It is important to do this technique gently so as to avoid severe muscle contractions.

To learn more about insomnia, including its causes, symptoms, drug treatments, support groups and much more, read “The Cure for Insomnia” ebook available at http://www.isolatedinsomniacs.com/insomnia.html